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Comparison of the mustard oil and electrical methods for sampling earthworm communities in rural and urban soils

Abstract : In the context of global changes, interest is growing in biodiversity in urban areas. However, sampling biodiversity in urbanized environments faces challenges. For soil organisms such as earthworms, sampling methods exist and have been tested in natural and agricultural areas, yet their efficiency and acceptability in urbanized areas has not been sufficiently addressed. This study compared the efficiency of two classical methods (with different environmental impact) for the quantitative assessment of earthworm populations in landscape contexts with varying levels of urbanization. For that, 15 sites near Paris (France) were sampled in autumn 2016 and spring 2017 with an electrical extraction method and a combined mustard oil liquid extraction followed by hand-sorting. Both methods produced similar estimates of species richness (number of sampled species) and juveline/adult ratios, but the electrical method extracted significantly fewer earthworms than the combined mustard-hand-sorting, both for total abundance and for the three ecological categories of earthworms. No significant effect was observed of the proportion of urban land cover, nor of the interaction with the sampling method, on total earthworm abundance or species richness. No interaction was observed of the soil parameters studied (soil organic matter, texture or water holding capacity) with the sampling method. It is concluded that, in urbanized environments, where due to social and health and safety considerations it is not always possible to use chemicals and to disturb land by excavating soil pits, the electrical method is a useful tool for sampling earthworms.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 8, 2021 - 8:21:39 PM
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Céline Pelosi, Emmanuelle Baudry, Olaf Schmidt. Comparison of the mustard oil and electrical methods for sampling earthworm communities in rural and urban soils. Urban Ecosystems, Springer Verlag, 2020, ⟨10.1007/s11252-020-01023-0⟩. ⟨hal-03162909⟩



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